VERY IMPORTANT: DON'T FORGET TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 2nd!
We plan to post the November 2004 Internet monthly update to our six monthly update web sites on Friday, October 29th.
The November disk update will be processed Friday, October 29th and the disks will be shipped on that day. You should have the disk update by November 1st or 3rd.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Subscribers who are still receiving disks can save up to $100 per year by switching to updates by Internet. Please read the last section of this bulletin for complete details. Don't wait for your next invoice to make the change. Compulife will bonus your subscription renewal deadline for switching from disks to internet.
We are repeating this from last month's update, to ensure that you understand that disk updates will now be shipped later in the previous month than we have been doing in years gone by.
As we discussed last month, those receiving disk updates can expect those updates to be shipped a little later in the preceding month which means you may find the update is routinely coming in after the first of the month. We are no longer targeting the 1st of the month as the date for the shipment to arrive in your office. The target is to have the update on our websites a day or two before the 1st of the month.
The downside for our disk update customers is that the system will squawk after the first of the month, complaining that it needs the new monthly update. Click OK and move forward to do quotes.
This change is important because a number of companies typically introduce first of the month changes at the end of the preceding month. Frequently we are put in a squeeze at the end of the month. It happened again at the end of July. Just after we had prepared our August monthly update one company called to tell us that they were sending us new rates for the first of the month. Those new rates were in the first midmonth update meaning that disk updates did not get the change unless they obtained a midmonth update.
And here's the irony. If you get midmonth updates by Internet, but you still get disk updates each month, SWITCH OVER! Monthly updates by Internet work the same way midmonth updates do.
Alternately, if all you get is the disk update, then you can expect not to miss end of the month changes such as the one we have just discussed.
Beginning December 1st Compulife plans to make a change to our midmonth update procedure. Instead of having multiple UPDATE?.CMP files we plan to reduce the total number of files to just one. That single update file will be UPDATEU.CMP.
The reason that we had been dividing updates into multiple files was to ensure that those who wanted to move update files from one machine to another, would be able to fit each update file onto a single floppy disk. Assuming that you had dial up, this meant instead of repeating a slow manual download for each computer, you could do it once, then copy the file to each machine using disks. Multiple files were kept smaller than 1.4 megabyte to facilitate that procedure.
With the advent of high speed internet and with most people using automated updates, most people use the automated procedure for each machine. Frankly, you don't care if there is one or more update files.
However, a new problem has emerged. Some agents run our system on computers that are connected to the internet through very tight firewalls that they can't control, particularly agents who operate in large companies. The only option to get a midmonth update is to do a manual download. This means with multiple files the individual must click on and download each file and save those multiple files to the \COMPLIFE folder. That's a pain in the butt. The new procedure, where there will be a single UPDATEU.CMP file, will make that job more convenient.
This bulletin is FAIR WARNING that the UPDATEU.CMP file will frequently be much larger than will fit on a single disk. If you have been manually moving midmonth update files using floppy disks you will need to find a new way to do so. There are several options. If you are on a network, you can copy the file that way. You could e-mail it. You could use a CD burner or you could use a ZIP drive. If you are stuck with none of these options, and using flopping disks to move midmonth update files, give Bob Barney a call at (800) 798-3488.
As part of our ongoing efforts to move customers from our DOS software to our Windows software, we will be removing DOS software from our DISK UPDATES effective December 1, 2004. The exception will be the install program which your computer uses to install from 3 1/2" disks.
Currently disk updates contain BOTH Windows and DOS software. This means that the disk updates contain more files than we would need to ship if we were only providing the Windows software. Further, because the majority of our customers now update by Internet, and because disk capacity is not an issue for monthly updates by internet, and because we prefer you to get updates by Internet, we will be removing the DOS program from our disk updates effective December 1, 2004.
What does that mean and what do you need to do if you are getting disk updates? You have two options:
First, switch to getting updates by Internet. Monthly updates by internet will continue to receive the DOS and Windows program until the 3rd quarter of 2005. We expect the early part of 2006 to be a very busy time for us, and we intend to move everyone who still uses DOS software, to our Windows software, by the end of 2005.
Second, learn to use the Windows software.
Actually, we recommend both because as we noted, we will not be supporting DOS software after the 3rd quarter of 2005. By that point all Compulife subscribers will need to be using the Windows program.
Warning: The December 1, 2004 monthly disk update (NOT INTERNET UPDATE) will have a GO.EXE file that will not run the DOS software, it will simply start the Windows software. Effectively the DOS software will be removed from your computer on December 1, 2004. Once again, this only applies to those who get monthly updates by disk.
On one of the early midmonth updates in October we will be providing the new Windows software which should appear to be the same but which will include some important structural changes needed to make further planned enhancements easier to implement.
We are making some changes to the Canadian options in the software to address joint life products that are quoted in Canada and not in the U.S. During August we discontinued our DOS joint life software in Canada, and now require Canadian customers to use the Windows program for those quotes. Now that we do not have to include those options in both DOS and Windows, the Windows program can be changed to make joint life maintenance easier.
For all customers, U.S. and Canada, there will be coming improvements to our multi-life comparisons. One of the first will be to add bulk banding which permits band discounts where aggregrate face amounts on multiple insureds dictate what bands to use for individual premiums. One company doing that now is Primerica Life. Another company just recently adopted that practice and we expect others will follow. We hope to roll that change out by November.
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our web sites. Our main web site is:
However, we keep two other completely separate web sites, on two completely different servers, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we are also updating to compulife.us and to compulife.cc. If one web site goes down, for whatever reason, either of the other two are ready to serve you. That includes both monthly and mid-month updates.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we rely on three other web sites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
For those receiving updates by disks, you are responsible to return those disks each month. Not returning disks can lead to the termination of your update service. For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
1. Switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.
Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $100 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our web page www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc." Under the section "License Agreements" you will need to select and complete a new License Agreement for the type of license you have. After you have printed the new agreement, please read it, especially the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call us and we'll be happy to step you through the procedure. It's easy.
2. Disk Purchase Program
The other way to avoid returning the disks and the disk box each month is to pre-purchase them for $21 per year ($1.75 per month). Once you do that you can keep them for future reference, throw them away or return them for a credit (once each year) when you are invoiced for the following year. $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.